LINSBORG — While rounding up children who are in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to play basketball may seem a little overwhelming, however, it comes with many benefits.

Lindsborg Recreation Director Beth Ferguson said engaging the children in the Youth Skills League basketball program at young ages prepares them for many life skills ahead of them.

"I think it is good to get kids in programming at a younger age. This gives them a different type of learning style that is outside of the classroom, but still with peer interaction," she said.

The league is aimed at boys and girls in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten who want to participate in basketball. Skills are taught through basic drills that are modified for the age group. The league takes place from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Feb. 20 and goes until March 15 at the Soderstrom Elementary School's Forsberg Gym, located at 100 N. Washington St. in Lindsborg.

"We are going to be working on the basics of basketball. We will help them with the beginning stages of dribbling, passing and shooting. Along with those skills though, we want to also work on stretching, hand-eye coordination and balance," she explained.

Keeping the attention of young children can be difficult at times, but Ferguson noted that the skills they work on are extensions of what they learn in a school setting.

"Obviously the attention span and understanding may not be there completely, but it gives them a new way of learning. It also allows them to be a part of a program that they may see their older brothers and sisters doing or it gives them the option to begin activities younger if they are interested," she said.

This year, Ferguson is reaching out to teams from Bethany College and Smoky Valley High School to assist with the league.

"I think it is good for both the younger and older kids to be able to work on things together that they both enjoy, such as basketball. It places mentors in the sport that some of these kids may get to watch on Friday and Saturday evenings," she said.

At the end of the day, Ferguson wants the kids to have something they enjoy doing, which is why she hopes to continue the basketball league.

"The purpose is to give these kids programming that they will continue to enjoy. We do not expect them to be basketball all-stars when they are done with this league, but to start the understanding of sports as well as personal skills at a young age," she added.

The registration deadline for Youth Skills League is Feb. 13. The registration fee is $30 for participants living within the city limits of Lindsborg and is $35 for those living outside of city limits. If you drop off the form after hours, you can place the form and a check or cash order in the drop box located outside the main doors of the city hall.

Registrations can be taken to the Lindsborg City Hall, located at 101 S. Main St., Monday through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Late registrations will be an additional $5. All registrations must be signed by a parent or legal guardian and no exceptions will be taken.

For more information call the Lindsborg City Hall at 785-227-3355 or visit their website at http://lindsborgcity.org. 

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.